Archive for June, 2009

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Review: High Society (Cerebus Vol. 2)

June 26, 2009

And here we get to the meatier stuff of the saga…after having a lot of setup adventures in Vol. 1*, Cerebus arrives in Iest with a sackful of gold and finds himself set up in the  Regency Hotel, with a new job as Diplomatic Representative of Palnu in Iest (given to him by his employer/nemesis, Lord Julius) who, through enough machinations to fill a volume such as this, turns into a gig as Prime Minister of Iest.

I can see here Sim getting better at his draftsmanship (though he hasn’t yet acquired his co-illustrator Gerhard yet), and he’s getting more confident in his plotlines (as he writes in  Vol.   he has a real “affection for the political process”). Cerebus deals with:

– his political sparring with the goat (yes, an animal goat) Lord Julius runs against him. (And I apologize for the quality of the scans- remember I’m scaning a softcover telephone book over here.)

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– Astoria’s manipulation of him into the Prime Minister’s seat. (no pic for this, sadly)

– Petuniacon (certainly Sim’s fictionalized experiences of being at a comic convention)

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– Artemis (the Moon Roach) killing off his plans to get out of debt.

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And damned if I’m enjoying the characterization of most of the funny minor characters more than the major ones…

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Almost as if he relaxes when the Big Story plot points are set up and lets himself have a little fun with the small plot points. He has a real ear for dialect as well…

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If I had to say the thing that bothered me the most about this volume was how some of the details of characterization felt to me like they came out of nowhere.  For example, meeting Jaka again, and Jaka’s sadness at him betraying her.

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I must say this comes out of nowhere for me. Maybe Sim decided he needed Jaka for more than just a walk-on role that she had back in Vol. 1.  Which is fine – don’t get me wrong. I just think there should have been more setup for this moment earlier on (after all, sir, you have 300 issues to fill, and looking ahead at the volumes I have in my hands, Melmoth seems to be a digression from the plot you already are working on.)

* including him meeting Jaka for the first time — an oversight from my review of the first volume. I’ve revised the review for the first volume to reflect this, as I now realize that she’s a big part of the overall arc of the comic (and yes, I’m peeking – how do you expect me to review a comic with thousands of pages if I don’t look ahead?  DON’T JUDGE ME!)

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Submitted without comment

June 26, 2009

From a commenter on Michelle Malkin’s website from a post om Michael Jackson’s death…

On June 26th, 2009 at 8:44 am, RobM1981 said:

Michael Jackson embodied diversity. He *was* diversity, all in one body. Witness:

He was born a black boy from Gary Indiana.

He died a white man from Hollywood.

He loved men, women, and children. Literally, evidently.

There wasn’t a religion he didn’t call his own.

He’d breathe oxygen, sometimes with nitrogen and sometimes without.

He had a large nose.

He had a small nose.

He had no nose.

He had a cleft chin.

He had no cleft chin.

He had no chin.

He had frizzy hair.

He had wavy hair.

He had straight hair.

He had burning hair.

He’d wear two gloves. He’d wear one glove. He’d wear no gloves.

He’d wear gold lame’ jock straps OUTSIDE of his clothes and, we must presume, inside as well.

Yes, truly, Michael Jackson was all things to all people.

UPDATE: In honor of the Instalanche I had from posting this…famous

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More adventures in reloading…still

June 23, 2009

I broke 2 decapping pins!

Let me say that again – I broke 2 decapping pins!

Both the RCBS die and the Hornady resizing die  pins in one night.  There must be something I don’t know about (luckily Midway has replacement pins for sale at least for the Hornady Die…)

Looking around on the Web, it says that my problems might stem from the brass being Berdan primed.  Good question – I don’t know…much of what I’ve saved is South African, but maybe the NATO imprimatur says nothing about how the brass is primed…

Boarguns-comparison

(Picture from Texasboars.com forum)

UPDATE: sure enough!  Berdan primed as the day is long.

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More adventures in reloading

June 21, 2009

Went to the gun show yesterday and found a die set from RCBS that’s supposed to work with my press, so I’ve got that going for me now.  My Hornady die set was failing me (resulting in the die being caught in the shell).  So the scheme I’m going to try now is:

1) clean the shells completely before even attempting to resize & decap, which sounds wrong – wouldn’t one want to decap first to make sure the primer pocket was clean as well?

2) Then attempt to decap & resize, as well as remove the military crimp with the stuff I got the other day.  The RCBS instruction pamphlet also says NOT to lube the shoulder of the case. Okey-dokey…

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Submitted without comment #2

June 20, 2009

my_foot_list_view[1]

http://www.onmylist.com/category/books/Books_You_Probably_Shouldnt_Buy_Your_Kids_This_Christmas_1

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Review: Cerebus (Volume 1)

June 15, 2009

cerebus[1]
Now for my next monumental undertaking – reading the whole Cerebus Saga front to back.

I had always been intrigued by Dave Sim’s comic (and as far as I know, only) comic Cerebus.  I had begun reading it a looong way back, but due to finances being low at the time, I had to cut back (and eventually drop entirely) my comic buying.

About a month ago, I happened to go into a used bookstore and found almost the entire series (Vols. 1-14) on sale for $10 each.  I fugured it was sign of some sort…

If I find something intriguing, I’m going to do a scan of that panel – just for giggles.

So – volume 1, with the benefit of hindsight (this was well before I started in on the comic back in the day) this volume seems like all setup for the following volumes (or Sim was really good at taking stuff he’d already done and reworking it into the narrative once he figured out where he wanted it to go.) We’ve got Elrod, Red Sophia, Bran Mak Mufin, Lord Julius, Weisshaupt, and more.  You can also see him getting better as the pages turn (and I realize that we’re looking at months of practice condensed into a few hours reading.)  I’m not going to get into the plotlines as of this writing (since this doesn’t feel to me like anything of import, even though intelligently written) except to note that there’s a lot more meta-reference to other comics in the plotline (the Moonroach, Captain Cockroach, Sump Thing, Woman Thing, and Claremont) just thumbing through the thing…of course the whole thing is supposed to be meta, considering that the comic started out as a parody of Thomas/Windsor-Smith’s Conan The Barabarian

More as I read them…

UPDATE: first appearance of Jaka here as well.  Throwaway, if you ask me. No indication here of how important she would eventually become in this saga. (and I’m fully aware that Sim’s use of her might not have fully formed at this point, but then, why not introduce another character where he could set things up properly? It’s not as if he didn’t have time….)

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Review: Repo – The Genetic Opera

June 14, 2009

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Short plotline: in the future, after millions die of organ failure, GeneCo and its’ founder the Largo Family get rich off their replacement organs and the new fad of surgery as fashion statement. But for those who can’t keep up with the payments, Geneco sends a Repo Man to cut the organs you can’t pay for out of your still living body.

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The head of the Largo family, Rotti (Paul Sorvino) is dying, and is loath to leave his legacy to his spoiled, perverted family (Paris Hilton* among others).

Shilo (Alexa Vega) is a young girl sequestered by her overly-protective father Nathan (Anthony Stewart Head) due to her rare blood disease. Between the power games of the Largo family and Shilo’s struggles, a LOT of cool stuff happens. And everything comes to a head at the genetic opera, starring the voice of GeneCo, Bling Mag (Sarah Brightman).

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I think I’m in love…

I loved this movie – warts and all. The decision to make the thing an opera was inspired, because it both frees the director (Darren Lynn Bousman) from having to cast “perfect” voices and also makes the whole production memorable. I didn’t mind the comic-style exposition (due to this movie being comic-like to begin with),

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and if I had a quibble, I would say that it’s due to all the characters seeming to be involved with each other, but since this is an adaption of a stage play, is there an easy way around that with so much going on in the story or on-screen?

*Ew.

**Yes, I’m being obtuse in the plot description, because I don’t want to spoil anything for the viewer. Of course a bored viewer will probably make all the connections way before I did, though.